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Pest detection platform Spotta raises £3m amid bedbug scourge

Spotta bedbug Image credit: TinoFotografie / Shutterstock

Spotta, a Cambridge-based startup that has developed bedbug detection sensors for agriculture and hospitality, has raised £3m.

The UK has experienced an unexpected surge in bedbug activity in the second half of the year, with enquiries for pest control companies to deal with the parasitic creatures on the rise and the Mayor of London expressing concern over the bugs’ presence on public transport.

Insect pests can wreak havoc on homes and businesses and Spotta is aiming to help with its bedbug detection platform.

Founded in 2018, Spotta’s sensors, which are installed in hotel rooms as well as fields, use machine learning to continuously monitor for infestation. The company said its AI sensors can detect when, where and what type of insects are active to make early interventions.

“The approach to insect detection has remained unchanged for decades. Infestations are found too late, after the damage is done,” said Spotta co-founder and CEO Robert Fryers.

“Spotta changes this. This capital injection will be used to fuel our growth across the globe and to continue our expansion into new and exciting markets.”

The investment round came from The Yield Lab, STIHL Ventures and ACF Investors.

“The Spotta platform built by Robert, Neil and the team delivers a real solution which can completely turn the insect pest control industry on its head,” said ACF managing partner Tim Mills.

“With their smart 24/7 monitoring enabling customers to precision target treatment for the first time. It’s a solution that protects people and crops but also hugely reduces the cost and environmental impact of treatment.”